Our Story

Gifted Hands International, is a doula certifying organization based in IL that provides comprehensive training with a blend of holistic strategies and medical knowledge to empower and equip it's graduates to be effective members of the birth work community. Effective doula support can literally SAVE LIVES! Therefore, Doulas must be fully equipped to provide positive and effective support to their clients. Founded in 2019 by Shana Phillips after she enrolled in what was, at the time, the number one doula certification program in America. To her surprise, the affirmations given by the instructors did not match the education that was delivered in the three day training. Therefore, she entered the birth work community, certified but unprepared to support the families she was hired to serve. Her determination to serve effectively motivated her to locate additional trainings and research in order to bring her skills up to a level that would make a difference to the families she served. In 2017, she secured a position as the mentor program coordinator at Chicago Volunteer Doulas. In this position, she had the opportunity to mentor and educate new doulas that were previously trained, through similar organizations as her from all over the U.S. and Canada. It was then she discovered that the three-day training model was the standard for most doula certifying organizations. Shana could not understand why more time and effort wasn't being put into training individuals for such a vital role. Seeking to create a better option, Shana developed the G.I.F.T. ® training method which provides a more detailed, personal, and hands on approach to doula training. That along with an extensive curriculum provides a more comprehensive option that produces advance trained doulas.

Why GHI?

As a result of our in depth training our students graduate with the following outcomes:

  • Access to 1 to 1 mentorship from seasoned perinatal providers

  • Admission to a network of perinatal providers that support underserved communities

  • Drop in employment gap from certification to field placement

  • Increased earning potential

  • Diverse career advancement opportunities

  • Greater awareness of the value in aligning purpose and work

  • Increased proficiency of the perinatal period

  • Increased education of critical methods of support for women at risk for adverse birth outcomes

  • Higher rate of preparedness to support families post certification


  • What is a doula?

    A doula is a non medical, professionally trained individual that provides physical, educational, and emotional support to families during pregnancy labor delivery and the postpartum period.

  • What type of employment can I get with a doula certification

    Certified Doulas can apply for positions in hospitals, agencies, birth centers and even go into business for themselves! Certified doulas are currently in demand and the job market is expected to grow by 18% in the next 5 years.

  • Are your courses self paced?

    No. The courses follow a specific schedule and you are guided through it by an instructor.

  • When and where do the classes take place

    Our classes are conveniently held online to accommodate students with full time careers and families. Our clinical training however is in person and held in the chicagoland area (Illinois)

  • Will there be ongoing support after the course is over?

    Yes! All students that graduate from our program will have the opportunity to join Chicago Volunteer Doulas or Sonkofa Collective, two chicago area doula organizations. With both organizations you will receive mentorship from a seasoned doula, as well as, the opportunity to shadow them in a delivery. They also provide monthly leads from individuals seeking doula support . You will also receive continued support from our alumni program which offers monthly coworking sessions as a network of peer doulas.

  • If I am not located in IL or IN can i still take the program?

    Yes! GHI has Certified doulas from multiple states! With the majority of the program being online it makes the process very easy. You can take the online portion of the course where ever you are located. You must be present for the in person clinical training however. This training happens over the course of a weekend so our out of state students will have to plan a weekend trip to chicago for that portion of the course.

  • Are there payment plan options for this program?

    Yes! We have multiple payment plan options for our programs. Just click the drop-down arrow next to the price on the enrolment page to see those options.

Social proof: testimonials

Betty B.

Nurse Practitioner

I've learned so much from this class starting from day one. Shana is excellent and brings so much knowledge. It just flows from her. Her teaching style makes it easy to listen and follow along. Doulas are needed and the wide range of content in this course is preparing us all on a high level.

Latisha S.

Maternal and child health specialist

Hiiiii! Let me begin by saying that I couldn't be more excited and honored to render a testimonial about my dynamic doula school!!! 😁 This journey has been nothing short of amazing and it has been my pleasure to have had the opportunity to be in the inaugural class. In the beginning, I was only seeking to refresh and revive my 15+ years of experience in maternal and child health while obtaining this certification, however I have been delightfully challenged and enhanced by Shana's passion and evolved experience in the field. The lectures on the material have been personable and applicable, and the learning portal is user friendly. I would definitely recommend Gifted Hands International as the best choice to obtain your doula certification!

Amber G.

I love the whole aspect of becoming a doula. I’m so grateful to Shana for extending her knowledge & wisdom on something greater than us all. She’s truly one of a kind in different ways from her teaching, her stories, just making you feel like you can do it & be the best! I love our weekly check-ins because it gives me more time to go into detail about the lessons and discussions. Everything about the class was right on time, on target, & I’m glad I have/had the opportunity to learn with such a great group of women!

Kimberly F.

I would like to say to anyone that if this is something new to them but is a little fearful, I came across this statement on a coffee mug and I absolutely love it. " NEVER BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW, REMEMBER AMATEURS BUILT THE ARK....PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC".... The class is really great I am enjoying learning what will best help our birthing parents to have a successful birthing experience.

Kristen B.


Gifted Hands International is an amazing and fun doula program!!! I learned soooo much from how to be a great doula to how to start my own doula business! Mrs. Shana is an amazing instructor! I definitely recommend this program! I honestly can't say enough about how great this program is!!!

Brie S.

Allied health care professional

Amazing, amazing, amazing!!! I could go on and on about Mrs. Shannalynn and how incredible she is. If you are having any thoughts of doing Gifted Hands International I encourage you to do so. From the time I reached out to get information about the course it has been nothing but great. Customer Service, communication, class info, positivity, laughs, concern, encouragement, just amazing. She is stuck with me now lol

Amber B.

Everything about this organization from registration until graduation is immaculate! I’ve learned so much in my time here, I feel so good about making my decision to become a Doula! Shana makes you feel like you can do anything! Love her for that! She’s an amazing instructor, just register and see! She will equip you with all the tools needed to be a Doula!

Janina S.

Student Midwife

I cant say enough about Gifted Hands International ! The experience was unbelievable. Lessons were amazing. Every lesson presented was evidence based, it was interactive, as well as entertaining!! A multitude of professionals came to inspire motivate and pour into us. It was a true blessing to be amongst so many women dedicated to the empowerment of other women. I learned a lot and gained some friends. I encourage anyone who is being led to birthwork to seek guidance from Gifted Hands International.

Tasha L.

Respiratory Therapist

I just finished my Doula training and I am so excited to begin my journey into birth work and seeing what is in store. If you are looking for a program to become a Doula, Gifted Hands International is the program for you!!!! Here is why - Shannalynn!!!!!!!! She is the best!!!!! She encourages you, shares all of her knowledge and skill to help you on this journey. You will get Evidence based learning and practice which is entertaining and interactive, real life scenarios and solution based results, a safe space of learning and development, cohort based so you and your class mates bond and grow together on this journey. Continuing and Resources throughout the program and after. Conveniently done online so you can work at anytime and anywhere. Support from previous cohort..a well rounded education and experience.